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166             A SEARCH IN SECRET EGYPT
them. He brought these finer souls out of the doomed continent, although it was then at the zenith of its civilization, for the gods begin to prepare new lands long before the old ones have departed.
Before Atlantis fell, groups of the better minds emigrated. Those who belonged to the Western Empires moved to Central and South America: those who belonged to the Eastern Empires of Atlantis went to Africa, there to lay the basis of Egypt's greatness.
They sailed in their curvilinear craft with prows pointed towards the little-known east, and made settlements at various places and at different times on the Euro-African shores; but the party under Osiris's immediate direction was taken to prehistoric Egypt, on whose shores they halted before presently sailing up the Nile, passing the three Pyramids and the Sphinx; products of the first Atlantean outflow, until Osiris bade them stop, not far from the present site of Abydos. They found Northern Egypt already inhabited by an aboriginal population who accepted them peaceably, and who even let them, because of their superior culture, gradually impose their influence and rule upon themselves. Thus was born the Lower Egyptian civilization, and before Osiris left his people he had instituted his religious Mysteries and had left them as a long-enduring legacy to perpetuate his name, work and teaching. Thus, these men and women, these prehistoric Egyptians, were cultured and civilised before London arose from the swamps. Long after Osiris passed, and when, his religion needed revivifying and codifying, there appeared another great Teacher; a "demi-god," named Thoth, who established a second centre of the Osirian Mysteries at Sais. All this had occurred among the aboriginal communities of prehistoric Egypt.
Then how had the legend of Osiris's murder started?
I could not get the answer straightway, and decided to let it await another meditation.
I began to make my exit across the uneven flagstones, whose original surfaces had long since worn away, Once they had been covered with lovely mosaic, but, now, not a tiny pebble was left upon this time-broken flooring. I caught my final glimpses of those beautiful pillars, whose bulging tops had held up great carved stone root-beams for so many centuries, and were still gallantly supporting them. This ended my wandering through this sanctuary of antiquity.